Narrator: This is Science Today. A UCLA study suggests mild concussions in children may impair the ability of the child's brain to develop to its full potential. Dr. David Hovda, director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, worked with young rats and found while they recovered well from mild concussions, they could not enhance their learning capacity, which is known as plasticity.
Hovda: And we think that this is because that following concussive brain injury, the biomechanics of the injury actually produce a series of neurochemical and metabolic events in the brain that compromises the brain's capacity to enhance its plasticity due to a unique exposure to an enriched environment.
Narrator: Hovda says his research suggests that potentially these young brains may need to be treated a little differently than the adult's central nervous system when it's injured.
Hovda: Because the consequences of the reduction in capacity for plasticity may be much greater.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.